The Supreme Court on Thursday transmitted the habeas corpus petition filed against the detention of Dr Kafeel Khan under National Security Act 1980 to Allahabad High Court.
A bench comprising CJI S A Bobde, Justices Surya Kant and B R Gavai observed that Allahabad High Court was the appropriate forum for dealing with the matter.
The petition was filed by Nuzhat Perween, mother of Dr Khan. Disposing of the petition, the Court ordered :
"We consider it appropriate that the matter be taken up by the Allahabad High Court. The record of the matter be transmitted to the High Court forthwith. The writ petition is disposed of accordingly".
The stringent National Security Act was invoked against Dr Khan by Aligarh District Magistrate on February 15 following his speech made at an anti-CAA protest event at Aligarh Muslim University.
Under the NSA, a person can be kept under detention without trial for a period extending up to one year.
The order was passed noting that Khan's remarks "disturbed public order in the city and created an atmosphere of fear and insecurity within the citizens of Aligarh".
Khan came in news first in August 2017, during the tragedy in Baba Raghav Das(BRD) Medical College Hospital, Gorakhpur, regarding the death of nearly 60 infants due to lack of oxygen supply.
Khan was initially reported to have acted as a saviour by promptly acting to arrange emergency oxygen supply by paying out of his pocket.
Despite being hailed as a hero for arranging cylinders as children gasped for breath, he was named in an FIR registered under Sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. It was alleged that he was negligent in his duties, which resulted in a shortage of medical oxygen.
He was arrested in September 2017, and was released only in April 2018 when the High Court allowed his bail application after observing that there existed no material on record to establish charges of medical negligence against Dr. Khan individually.
He was also suspended from service alleging dereliction of duty. A report of the departmental enquiry absolved him of charges in September 2019.
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